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Advice on Workstation Purchase


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#1 Crusts

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Posted 20 September 2017 - 06:57 PM

I’m looking to upgrade my home computer (currently a late 2013 iMac). I am a motion graphics designer, I regularly use my computer to create animations in software such as Adobe After Effects and the Adobe CC Suite, I do quite a bit of video editing and I also do a lot of work using Cinema 4D. On my iMac I currently spend A LOT of my time just rendering animations out of After Effects and C4D, so much so that it’s damaging my workflow, my iMac also doesn’t handle complicated C4D files that well, hence why I’ve decided to invest in a new computer at home.

 
Basically I need a machine that will handle C4D and the Adobe Suite well, and give me good render times. I have done quite a bit of research into what I want so far, and have narrowed it down to 2 options, listed below.
 
My first choice was the base model 8 Core Mac Pro. I work on a 6 Core Mac Pro every day at my day job, so I’m confident that an 8 Core will handle pretty much everything I need it to do. I’m confident and quick with OSX, (I know all the keyboard shortcuts) and all my devices and apps (iCal/Notes) are synced to OSX. The only issue with this option is cost, the 8 Core Mac Pro is £3719, and that’s without the extra RAM and bigger SSD I plan to buy later down the line (+£800 roughly)
 
on the link above I’ll be adding a second Graphics card and changing the case to have 4 usb slots instead of 2. The 3XS WI6000 Viz from what I can tell is better than the 8 Core Mac Pro, I could do with your guys opinion on that? Keep in mind I do plan to upgrade the Mac Pro after purchase. It also comes with a  slightly smaller price tag, £3698. My concerns are that I’ll have to re-learn how to use a windows operating system again (haven’t used windows since college) and to be honest I kind of prefer OSX over windows. Although I’m happy to put this aside for the better computer.
 
Out of the two options which would you go with? And if you think you know of a computer that would better fit my needs please let me know (I’m UK based). Please don’t turn this thread into a MAC vs PC competition. I want you to look at the machines irrespective of that and let me know which one I’ll be getting the most bang for my buck with.
 
Your advice is much appreciated :)

Edited by hamluis, 21 September 2017 - 07:29 AM.


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#2 Drillingmachine

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 07:21 AM

In my opinions all Mac's suck so I have no more to say about Mac system.

As for another system, I see no reason to go with overpriced i7-7820X. AMD Threadripper 1920x is much better. So change CPU to
LN83363 AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1920X and motherboard to LN83519 ASUS PRIME X399-A.

#3 Kilroy

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 03:28 PM

First things first, are you going to have to purchase new copies of your software if you switch to a Windows based machine?  If so, then you have to add that to the cost of a Windows machine.

 

Like Drillingmachine I'm a PC guy.  As I haven't supported the Adobe graphic programs I'm not sure what hardware benefits you most.  If Adobe won't use all of your cores then getting a machine with 8 cores isn't a benefit.  Same goes for the video card.  I'd suggest doing a little research into what the power Adobe people say is important and than look for a machine with those features.  I think you will have more options with a PC over a Mac.



#4 jonuk76

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 11:28 PM

Apple is pretty much never the better bang for the buck option.  They have a price premium, and certainly in this case the Scan machine you linked to has a significantly higher base spec than the Mac Pro, for less money.  The Firepro D500 GPU's are much slower in comparison to the P4000 on the Scan.  Direct comparisons are not easy to come by, as D500 is a Mac specific design, but going by the specifications, and the fact it's based on a 2012 AMD GPU architecture, I'd hazard a guess that 2 x D500's probably would barely match the performance of 1 P4000.  I guess it just depends on how attached to OS X you are (and presumably a Hackintosh is out of the question).

 

According to http://blog.maxon.co.uk/cinema-4d-recommended-specs (worth a read through if you haven't already) Cinema 4D uses the CPU for rendering normally, and for "power users" they recommend as many cores as you can afford.  If Scan offer a workstation based on the AMD Threadripper, it might be worth checking out.  After a quick look I find they do - https://www.scan.co.uk/3xs/configurator/wa6000-viz  The Intel options however are overclocked (although you can opt for stock settings if preferred) while they don't appear to offer this with the Threadripper. 


Edited by jonuk76, 21 September 2017 - 11:30 PM.


#5 nickos

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 09:24 AM

hi my frieds,

 

sorry but i have a different approach to the subject 

 

if your planning to spend a lot of money on a good work station apple or pc this does not mean that your job (video rendering 3d rendering, cinema 4d) will be done in a much shorter time than before....

 

if your rendered time for a cinema 4d simple project is lets say two hours with your existing pc by buying a high end workstation the rendered time would be something like 1.45 minutes or 1.30 minutes

 

if you really want to have a much shorter times with your cinema 4d, 3d or video projects then you have to think for a ''render farm'' 

 

only a render farm with three and more pc's or apple mac's will give you significantly shorter render times

 

you can search by your own on this

 

all those visual effects we see in movies is done by a render farm with many computers and not on a sing workstation

 

now if you still want to buy a more powerful workstation for your own reasons both apple and pc will offer you a lot of computing power with your projects

 

personally i haven't convinced yet that the new ryzen is a much better option over the intel i7

 

from the other side apple is a little bit more powerful on programs like final cut pro but lightwave is running better on pc

 

certainly the decission is your but first you have to search and read many things before buy

 

good luck my friend


Edited by nickos, 25 September 2017 - 09:31 AM.


#6 Drillingmachine

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 09:48 AM

personally i haven't convinced yet that the new ryzen is a much better option over the intel i7


For same price Ryzen offers more cores, more processing power, better build quality, better motherboards, lower CPU temperature and lower power consumption.

So it's quite hard to tell why Ryzen is not much better option than i7.

#7 nickos

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 12:27 PM

my friend i do not disagree that today ryzen is a much better choice for value for money but all these core does not mean a much better computing power

 

as far i know multiple cores give more computing power on certain applications according to this link

 

i am not an expert to tell more....

 

https://community.spiceworks.com/topic/1980594-when-do-more-processor-cores-mean-better-pc-performance

 

the point here is if a better workstation can do the job in a much lesser time

 

the answer is yes but how much lesser time ?

 

personally speaking it is not worthing to spend a lot of money on a single workstation just to save 15 to 30 minutes on rendered times on a projects

 

if you want that real power and significantly lesser rendered times then you have to invest on a render farm

 

render farm make sense only if you make money, good amount of money on animations, visual effects etc


Edited by nickos, 25 September 2017 - 12:28 PM.


#8 Crusts

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 01:21 PM

Apple is pretty much never the better bang for the buck option.  They have a price premium, and certainly in this case the Scan machine you linked to has a significantly higher base spec than the Mac Pro, for less money.  The Firepro D500 GPU's are much slower in comparison to the P4000 on the Scan.  Direct comparisons are not easy to come by, as D500 is a Mac specific design, but going by the specifications, and the fact it's based on a 2012 AMD GPU architecture, I'd hazard a guess that 2 x D500's probably would barely match the performance of 1 P4000.  I guess it just depends on how attached to OS X you are (and presumably a Hackintosh is out of the question).

 

According to http://blog.maxon.co.uk/cinema-4d-recommended-specs (worth a read through if you haven't already) Cinema 4D uses the CPU for rendering normally, and for "power users" they recommend as many cores as you can afford.  If Scan offer a workstation based on the AMD Threadripper, it might be worth checking out.  After a quick look I find they do - https://www.scan.co.uk/3xs/configurator/wa6000-viz  The Intel options however are overclocked (although you can opt for stock settings if preferred) while they don't appear to offer this with the Threadripper. 

 

Hi jonuk76, thanks for your advice! Your link to C4D's recommended specs has been very useful, I should have found that out myself really! And a couple of people have mentioned the AMD Threadripper over Intel's i7 so I'm pretty sure I'm going to go that way.



#9 Crusts

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 01:25 PM

 

personally i haven't convinced yet that the new ryzen is a much better option over the intel i7


For same price Ryzen offers more cores, more processing power, better build quality, better motherboards, lower CPU temperature and lower power consumption.

So it's quite hard to tell why Ryzen is not much better option than i7.

 

 

Hi Drillingmachine, quite a lot of people have recommended the AMD Threadripper over the i7 now, (not only in this thread) so I'm fairly certain I'm going to go that way. Thanks for the advice :)



#10 Crusts

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 01:45 PM

my friend i do not disagree that today ryzen is a much better choice for value for money but all these core does not mean a much better computing power

 

as far i know multiple cores give more computing power on certain applications according to this link

 

i am not an expert to tell more....

 

https://community.spiceworks.com/topic/1980594-when-do-more-processor-cores-mean-better-pc-performance

 

the point here is if a better workstation can do the job in a much lesser time

 

the answer is yes but how much lesser time ?

 

personally speaking it is not worthing to spend a lot of money on a single workstation just to save 15 to 30 minutes on rendered times on a projects

 

if you want that real power and significantly lesser rendered times then you have to invest on a render farm

 

render farm make sense only if you make money, good amount of money on animations, visual effects etc

 

Hi nickos, one of the main pieces of software I use and will be using on my new machine will be Cinema4D, and while multiple cores doesn't really effect the speed of the application, it does have a direct impact on how fast renders are generated, as mentioned in this article http://blog.maxon.co.uk/cinema-4d-recommended-specs

 

Speeding up render times is one of my main priorities in this upgrade, investing in a render farm, while I'm sure will speed up renders, might be a bit overkill. Also I really don't have the space for such a thing.

 

Also regarding your point on only saving 15-30 minutes worth of rendering off a 2 hour render - I currently work on a fairly humble iMac (3.4 GHz Intel Core i5), I'm looking at getting the 16 Core AMD Threadripper, which will basically blow it away. 2 hours could quite easily turn into 10 minutes, this is my ambition :D

 

Thanks for your response though! The spiceworks link was an interesting read :)



#11 nickos

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 05:47 AM

hi to all,

 

i am not sure if you can render so fast since i don't know much things about cinema 4d

 

i am a bryce 3d user

 

bear in mind that some 3d creation, cad, animation and video edit is dependable on the cpu speed and some  and some others is dependable on the graphic card's power

 

my sony vegas 8 is dependable on the cpu speed

 

there many things that you can do in order to shorter the render time in cinema 4d

 

 

http://forums.cgsociety.org/archive/index.php?t-531862.html

 
 
 
 
 

Edited by nickos, 26 September 2017 - 05:47 AM.


#12 Em1xam

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 05:29 PM

Hi everyone,

 

Quite an interesting thread, arriving precisely on time for me as I envisage some similar type of update of my old equipment with the exact same applications and objectives in mind.

 

@Crusts: I might not be as advanced as you are in this purchasing process, though, as this would still rather be a question of months on my side before I finally make such a re-investment, but my point here is to kindly ask you to let us know on this thread whether your new config - once acquired - will indeed meet your ambitions as explained above. That kind of knowledge/feedback would be very helpful.

 

Many thanks in advance.



#13 MadmanRB

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 03:01 PM

Personally i say go with a Ryzen build, there are great for content creators.


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#14 Captain_Chicken

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Posted 14 October 2017 - 05:00 PM

Hi everyone,

 

Quite an interesting thread, arriving precisely on time for me as I envisage some similar type of update of my old equipment with the exact same applications and objectives in mind.

 

@Crusts: I might not be as advanced as you are in this purchasing process, though, as this would still rather be a question of months on my side before I finally make such a re-investment, but my point here is to kindly ask you to let us know on this thread whether your new config - once acquired - will indeed meet your ambitions as explained above. That kind of knowledge/feedback would be very helpful.

 

Many thanks in advance.

Please start your own thread. Thanks.


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#15 Crusts

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Posted 14 October 2017 - 06:27 PM

Hi everyone,

 

Quite an interesting thread, arriving precisely on time for me as I envisage some similar type of update of my old equipment with the exact same applications and objectives in mind.

 

@Crusts: I might not be as advanced as you are in this purchasing process, though, as this would still rather be a question of months on my side before I finally make such a re-investment, but my point here is to kindly ask you to let us know on this thread whether your new config - once acquired - will indeed meet your ambitions as explained above. That kind of knowledge/feedback would be very helpful.

 

Many thanks in advance.

 

Hi @Em1xam, no problem at all, so after about 2 months of researching and asking round for advice (at places like here), I purchased the specs listed below. It arrived about a week ago and I've been testing the new machine this week:

 

Scan Computers 3XS WA6000 Viz

ASUS PRIME X399-A Motherboard

16 Core AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X, 3.4GHz, 4.0 GHz Turbo CPU

64GB RAM

8GB NVIDIA Quadro P4000 Graphics Card

250GB Samsung 960 EVO SSD + 2TB Seagate Barracuda Mechanical HD

 

And just for comparison, this is what I was working on before:

2013 iMac

3.4 GHz Intel Core i5

24GB Ram

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 775M 2048 MB

1TB Mechanical HD (don't know what kind)

 

I'm really impressed with the new machine, one C4D test saw a 4 second render involving ambient occlusion and global illumination take only 3 minutes. On my old iMac the same file with the same settings took 1 hour!!! :o Another file saw a single frames render time go down from 50 seconds to 6 seconds! So yea, generally been blown away with it! It's great, truly a pleasure to work on, although it is taking a little adjustment getting used to the windows operating system.

 

Hopefully this might help you with your own purchase :)






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